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City of Bartow Issues Phase 1 Reopening Guidelines


Last updated 5/6/2020 at 11:32am




E.O. 20-112 – MAY 4, 2020

Q: Who is this Frequently Asked Questions ("FAQ") document for?

A: This FAQ is for owners and operators of retail shops, restaurants, medical services providers and essential businesses/services providers in the City of Bartow that have questions about the State of Florida's Phase I Recovery and Governor Ron DeSantis's Executive Order 20-112.

Q: Am I allowed to open my business?

A: If you have a retail shop with a storefront, you have a restaurant, you are a medical services provider or you are an essential business/services provider, beginning May 4, 2020 you can open and operate your business as follows:

Essential Businesses/Services Providers: Essential businesses/services providers are those entities that were allowed to operate without restrictions during Florida's "Safer At Home" period under Governor DeSantis's April 1, 2020 Executive Order 20-91. A list of essential businesses and service providers can be found at:

/governor-essential-services.pdf. Essential businesses and services providers may open and continue to operate during the State of Florida's Phase I Recovery period in the same manner as they did during the "Safer At Home" period.

Retail Shops With Storefronts: Under Executive Order 20-112, retail shops with storefronts that were not open during "Safer at Home" may open for in-shop sales if they (1) allow no more than 25 percent of permitted building occupancy (customers and employees) and (2) abide by all safety guidelines issued by the CDC and OSHA. CDC guidance can be found at: https:// OSHA guidance can be found at:

Restaurants: Under Executive Order 20-112, restaurants may re-open as follows: (1) Indoor seating with social distancing is allowed at 25 percent of permitted building capacity;

(2) Outdoor seating with social distancing is allowed if permissible under Bartow's code of ordinances (3) social distancing requires (i) maintaining a minimum of 6 feet between parties, (ii) only seating parties of 10 or fewer people and (iii) keeping bar counters closed to seating; and (4) restaurants should use appropriate sanitation measures. Guidance developed by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association can be viewed here:



Medical Services Providers: Under Executive Order 20-112, medical services providers, including elective procedure providers, surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental offices, orthodontic offices, endodontic office and other health care practitioner offices may fully re-open. As a condition of resuming elective procedures, hospitals will be required to assist nursing homes and long-term care facilities in their efforts to protect the vulnerable. Medical series providers must maintain adequate bed capacity and personal protective equipment. They must also have the capacity to immediately convert additional surgical and intensive care beds in a surge situation and must not have received or sought any additional federal, state or local government assistance regarding personal protective equipment after resuming elective procedures.

Q: My restaurant did not provide outdoor seating before May 4, 2020. Can I open an outdoor seating area?

A: Outdoor seating for restaurants is regulated by the City of Bartow's Code of Ordinances and Unified Land Development Code. Restaurants should not create outdoor seating areas without prior approval or a permit, if required, based on the circumstances and the applicable zoning district. Questions about necessary approvals and permits should be directed to the Planning Department.

Q: How do I determine what my building capacity or maximum occupancy is?

A: Building capacity and maximum occupancy is determined based on the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code. Some businesses, such as restaurants, likely have a public notice placed near the primary entrance indicating the maximum permitted number of occupants allowed under normal circumstances. If your business operates in a building that does not indicate the maximum permitted number of occupants, and you have questions, please call the Building Department at 863-534-0157 or the Fire Department at 863-534-5044 for more information.

Q: What businesses must stay closed during Phase I Recovery?

A: Bars, pubs and nightclubs that derive more than 50% of gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages shall continue to suspend the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption. Gyms and fitness centers must stay closed. Vacation rentals must remain suspended.

Q: Can personal care services businesses open?

A: No. Personal care services businesses such as barbershops, hair salons and nail salons with close personal contact must stay closed, with one exception: the retail sales portions of these businesses may re-open if they operate at no more than 25 percent of permitted building occupancy and abide by all safety guidelines issued by the CDC and OSHA, in the same manner as retail sales storefronts.

Q: I operate a bar that derives more than 50% of revenue from the sale of alcohol. May I sell food in order to open during the Phase I Recovery?

A: No. Only restaurants and food establishments licensed under Chapter 500 or 509 of the Florida Statutes may re-open at limited capacity during the Phase I Recovery period. Bars, pubs and nightclubs that either (1) do not have the proper license or (2) make more than 50% of revenue from alcohol sales; are not allowed to re-open in Phase 1 under the Governor's Order E.O. 20-112.

Q: I have been selling take-out food/making curbside sales/selling packaged alcohol for off-premises consumption during Safer at Home. Can I continue to do this?

A: Yes. If you were allowed to make these sales during "Safer at Home," you are permitted to continue making these sales during the Phase I Recovery under E.O. 20-112.

Q: I am eligible to reopen my business during Phase I. What do I need to do?

A: Review the Governor's Orders and FAQ documents available here:

index.php/news/covid-19. Review CDC guidance and OSHA guidance for the safe operation and safe reopening of your business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Implement appropriate social distancing measures to protect you and your employees. Obtain any personal protective equipment you believe is necessary to protect you and your employees, such as masks and hand sanitizer. If you operate a regulated business under license from the State of Florida, continue to monitor your licensing agency's website for any specific information related to operating your business in safe and responsible manner.

Q: How will compliance with the Governor's Order be enforced?

A: The Bartow Police Department will assist businesses with their compliance efforts during the Phase I Recovery. Businesses eligible to re-open and operate during the Phase I Recovery remain responsible to do in a safe, smart and step-by-step manner. If enforcement of the Governor's Order becomes necessary, Police Officers and Sheriff's Deputies are authorized to issue citations or make arrests under Chapter 252 of the Florida Statutes. Violation of an emergency order issued by the Governor is a second degree misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500.

Q: What is the City doing during the Phase I Recovery to help?

A: The City of Bartow wants to help everyone transition from Safer at Home to the Responsible Individual Activity allowed by the Governor under E.O. 20-112. If you have questions about the maximum occupancy of your building or storefront, please call the Building Department at 863-534-0157 or the Fire Department at 863-534-5044. If you require police assistance with patron crowding after reopening, contact 911 for emergencies or 863-534-5034 for non-emergencies. If you have questions about whether outdoor seating is permitted for your restaurant, contact the City Switchboard at 863-534-0100 and follow the prompts, or ask for, the Planning Department.

Q: Is there a program available to assist me with paying my bill for utility services?

A: Yes. The City of Bartow has created a relief program for businesses and other customers to use utility deposit funds to help bring utility accounts current. If your business has an outstanding utility bill that you cannot pay in full, you may make a one-time request to useyour business's utility deposit to help pay the delinquency. The maximum amount of deposit money that may be used to satisfy an outstanding delinquency shall be the amount of the most dated (oldest) month's utility services bill. If, after application of deposit monies, the outstanding delinquency is not fully satisfied, you will need to pay the remaining amount due by your cutoff date to avoid service disconnection and termination. You will need to sign an agreement to pay back the deposit amount applied to the City over a six (6) month period. If you have questions about this program, call Customer Service at 863-534-0188.

The Bartow Chamber of Commerce maintains a webpage with links to COVID-19 resources at:

The City of Bartow maintains a webpage with links to Emergency Administrative Orders entered during the State of Local Emergency declared by Resolution 20-4041-R at:


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